ACAP standard goes live

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A new open standard for publishers and search engines has been unveiled which aims to end clashes between publishers and search engines.

ACAP, which was unveiled and showcased in New York today, has been developed to protect the intellectual property of anyone wishing to make content available on the worldwide web. It is an initiative of the World Association of Newspapers, the International Publishers Association and the European Publishers Council in close collaboration with search engines and the new standard is the result of a 12-month pilot project.

Publishers globally are now being encouraged to implement ACAP version 1. This will allow publishers, broadcasters and any other publisher of content on the network to express their individual access and use policies in a language that search engine robots and similar automated tools can read and understand.

The standard has been welcomed by the search engine Yahoo! ‘We appreciate ACAP’s effort to make more content available on the web. We appreciate the concerns of our publisher partners that they should feel confident to make content available to the world.  We also appreciate ACAP’s really open and collaborative approach,’ said Joe Siino, senior vice president of intellectual property for Yahoo!.

Politicians and business leaders have also leant support to ACAP. As EU Commissioner Reding commented, ‘media companies have not yet fully adapted their business models to new distribution technologies, which cut across national borders and traditionally separated sectors. The uncertainties associated with the shift to digital technologies inhibit the development of many potential online services.’